Sci-Fi Cancellation Watch: What’s Alive, What’s Dead, And What’s Brand New
Renewed: Arrow, The 100
Canceled: Star-Crossed, The Tomorrow People
New: The Flash, iZombie
The Bottom Line: It’s easy to crack jokes about The CW’s tendency to populate their shows with impossibly pretty people and overwrought teen dramas, but in between the Star-Crosseds and the Beauty and the Beasts, the CW has become one of the most fertile homes for genre storytelling out of the five major broadcast networks. This is a network that often gives new series room to grow, even if they aren’t immediate successes. Supernatural is about to enter its tenth season. Can you honestly imagine it earning a run that long on Fox or ABC? Or Arrow, which was pretty mediocre initially, but which has evolved to become one of my favorite shows, and a more satisfying take on the DC universe than anything I’ve seen this side of the Bruce Timm/Paul Dini ‘toons of the ’90s.
Speaking of comics, The CW is expanding the DC TV universe with The Flash, spinning out of an Arrow run that introduced Barry Allen, then blasted him with lightning and doused him with chemicals, destined to awaken from a coma as the lead on his very own series. The quirky-sounding iZombie also has its origins in comics, specifically the Eisner-nominated Vertigo series created Chris Roberson and Michael Allred. iZombie is about a med student who gets turned into a zombie, but who can pass for human so long as she keeps getting a steady diet of brains. Thankfully dead brains work just as well as living ones, so her access to corpses proves might handy. Why are we extra excited about iZombie? Because Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas is steering the ship as a co-writer and executive producer. Bring on the quotable dialogue and plucky heroine!
As for the deaths of Star-Crossed and The Tomorrow People, that writing was pretty much on the wall for a while now, as both shows struggled in the ratings and didn’t seem to generate much good buzz at all. Oh well, they’ve already remade the original British Tomorrow People series twice now, so expect a new version to pop up again sometime in the 2030s.